WelCom July 2018:
Following the 2017 Synod last September, Cardinal John Dew promulgated 13 key directions late last year defined as priorities for ‘the local Church of Wellington’ for the immediate future. The following developments stem from two of those priorities – 3: Go, you are sent…to find leaders; and 10: Go you are sent…to support marriage and families.
New Catholic Leadership Initiative
A new faith opportunity will be launched in Wellington this August for Catholic professionals to create a regular gathering for professional Catholics. It is one of many new initiatives stemming from the 2017 Archdiocese Synod, to particularly engage with new future leaders. Primarily this initiative aims to:
- find leadership in the Catholic community;
- create new environments where business and community leaders can engage with the Church;
- provide opportunities for Catholics to be inspired and encouraged to live out their faith values in daily working life.
Cardinal John Dew has expressed his hope the network will bring together business and community leaders to reflect on faith and how it can relate to business life.
‘We are blessed with a large network of people in the Wellington community who are Catholic. I hope this will be a dynamic forum where they feel they again engage in their faith and encourage one another to live out our Catholic values in the workplace.’
Sir Bill and Dr Mary Lady English will address the initial event and will give a behind-the-scenes account of the importance of their faith as parents, as professionals and as public figures.
The luncheon series will provide networking opportunities for practising and retired professionals to connect with Church leadership and to hear from dynamic speakers, including local, national and international leaders.
This is a trend developing in dioceses around the world to form stronger Catholic networks among active and retired Catholics.
Similar luncheon series have rapidly grown in the Diocese of Christchurch, which saw the successful establishment of the Catholic Business Network last year, and in the Archdioceses of Sydney and Brisbane. In the United States where the idea first began, the networks remain vital to the life of the Church.
The Archdiocese aims to hold four luncheons throughout the year as well as a range of activities to give people opportunities to get to know the Archbishop and clergy and fellow Catholic businessmen and women in the community.
The first Cardinal’s Luncheon is scheduled at 12–2pm Wednesday 8 August in downtown Wellington.
Please visit the Archdiocese website wn.catholic.org.nz for more information and to register.
Go, You Are Sent… To accompany the separated and divorced with solicitude
Pope Francis is a man for our times. His 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia addresses, as never before, the reality and complexity of modern family life. In doing so, it does not shy away from the challenges families face today. It has been described as a joyous document; one that while recognising all families are imperfect, gives thanks for the way in which families live in love and keep moving forward. The Pope describes families as a challenging mosaic, made up of many different realities.
In his introduction, Pope Francis signals his enduring faith in and hope for the family when he says, ‘It is my hope that…all will feel called to love and cherish family life, for, families are not a problem, they are first and foremost, an opportunity’. In this are included the separated and divorced.
‘Every home is a lampstand.’
Sadly though, there are many separated and divorced in our parish communities who, because of their circumstances, have felt excluded, shamed and stigmatised. Contributors to the 2017 Archdiocesan Synod noted there are ministries in parishes for grief and loss after bereavement, but very little such support for those suffering the grief of a marriage breakdown. There is undoubtedly an opportunity within our parish communities for the provision of support and care of people not mourning the death of a spouse but mourning the death of a dream. There is also the opportunity for like-to-like ministry, for those who have walked this path to share their hard-earned wisdom with others.
So how and where do we begin?
By gathering all and any who have been affected by separation and divorce to experience how things can be done differently. Cardinal John will be celebrating Mass 6pm, Thursday 9 August, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Hill St Thorndon, Wellington, to mark the beginning of this new ministry.
Come along and hear how things are changing. Come along and contribute to the conversation about how we move forward from here. Come along and pray for the courage and wisdom to discern how best to form this ministry. Come along; bring your families, celebrate the Eucharist and share a glass of wine afterwards.